“Listen Up!”

The Iris Project wants you to push its buttons. For its public art project “Listen Up!,” the local artist collective stuck 500 red sound buttons on buildings, signs, bus stops and more in the Museum District and the Montrose area. All for your pushing pleasure. When pushed, each button makes a different sound ranging from statements like “Don’t Touch Me” to songs to sounds heard around the button’s location, such as a car horn if it’s near a street. “One way to read it is kind of like sound graffiti,” says David Graeve, a member of the Iris Project.

The buttons aren’t easy to spot; they’re about an inch in diameter, Graeve says, like a shirt button. “So, not everyone’s going to [see] them because there’s no big signage or verbiage around them that says, ‘Push me’ or ‘Look at me’ or something. It’s a fairly discreet installation.”

The buttons’ size isn’t the only reason you might miss them: They’re also removable — a fact we offered to keep under wraps. “No, you can put that. They’re meant to be stolen,” Graeve says and laughs. “Well, we’d like to have them up for a while, but they’re signed and dated art — part of this is just to mess with the idea of the economics and the commodity of art and object making.” Each button includes the recorded message, a date and the Iris Project’s signature.

The buttons went up on April 25, and Graeve says there will be one wave of replacements. Hopefully there’s still some left. Happy hunting. The buttons will be around until May 25…or until they’re all taken. For information, visit www.irisprojectsound.com. Free.
April 25-May 25, 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes